quick garlicky chicken penne pasta with arugula

The other week we got a much welcomed and overdue visit from my friend Kate.  I'm sure I've talked about Kate before.  We've been friends since the third grade, kept in touch through college, and she was in my wedding.  She's the type of friend I text when I see that the Backstreet Boys are on Good Morning America because clearly we liked them and may have also gone to see 98 degrees and Jessica Simpson back in the day.

To compensate for those concerts we did also see Dave Matthews quite a bit and just said the boy bands were "for fun."

Since she's such an old friend I didn't feel like I had to impress too much with cooking an elaborate meal.  Then again, it's always fun when a friend comes into town.  I can make something more exciting for lunch and dinner and try some new recipes out knowing she won't judge me if they don't turn out.

No stress friends are a good thing.

Another good thing is when you get a free Cook's Country in the meal and it's got loads of 30 minute dinners in there.  I picked out this recipe knowing I had chicken on hand and nearly all the other ingredients making this to be not only a quick but budget friendly meal for us.

It came together quickly as it claimed it would and was quite delicious.  If you're a garlic fan this recipe is for you.

{Recipe thanks to Cook's Country}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts or chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 5-ounce bag arugula
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice- or the juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1.  Bring water to a boil for the pasta and while that is heating up combine the garlic, pepper flakes, and oil in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute which will be fragrant.

2.  Pat the chicken dry and season it with salt and pepper.  Cook in a large skillet in 1 tablespoon of the garlic oil until it's browned and cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the pan, let it rest for 5 minutes, then cut it into strips or chunks.

3.  Cook the pasta in well salted water until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta when it's done and return it to the skillet or large pot.  Stir in the chicken, arugula, basil, lemon juice, cheese, and garlic oil.  Add the remaining pasta water so that the sauce is nice and coating the pasta.  Season it with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away!

1 comment

  1. So glad you and Kate got together! I love garlic and will print out this recipe to save!